On Saturday 7th Corinthian Casuals arrived in Lewes for a match vital to the play-off ambitions of the home side, and quite important to those of the visitors. I went along because I was researching the nations favourite amateur football team for a chapter in my forthcoming book, but as always it was nice to see the good people of the Dripping Pan; particularly given that, for once, it wasn’t actually dripping. The sun shone, the paragliders hovered over the South Downs, the burgers were magnificent- and the football was enthralling.
I took a number of photographs, and whilst I’m not writing my usual report to go along with them, I thought they were worth sharing nonetheless. The away supporters were a raucous and good natured bunch, and came armed with a number of flags, a pre-war football rattle, and Luigi from Super Mario Brothers, who was waved randomly in the air by a happy chap who had perhaps over indulged on the cheap Harveys Ale left over from the home side’s recent Beer Festival.
And a two pounds fifty a pint, he probably wasn’t alone.
The match saw five goals scored, three for the away side. Casuals took the lead in the 33rd minute, perhaps just against the run of play, when Mu Maan was left completely unmarked at a corner and headed expertly home. The score remained unchanged until the interval.
The second half kicked off with Lewes in the ascendency, and with Casuals looking extremely dangerous on the counter-attack. The home side had their chances, but it wasn’t all that surprising when the visitors extended their lead in the 71st minute, Shaun Okojie firing past Winterton after quickly turning defence into attack. The Rooks didn’t give up, and pulled a goal back three minutes later, a fabulous finish from substitute Ronnie Conlon which saw him hammer the ball home from twenty yards. The Lewes pressure came in waves, and two efforts were cleared off the line, but then heartbreak for the home side, as that second clearance set Okojie away and the striker fired home his thirty-third goal of the season in added time to make the points safe, before celebrating with the away supporters, who did the ‘Tolworth Cokey.’
There was still time in added time for another goal, former Crawley Town striker Jonte Smith flicking a header into the back of the Casuals net- but it was too little, too late as the full time whistle went.
Lewes face two massive matches over the Easter weekend. Firstly, on Saturday, they are at away to sixth place- and one point better off- Carshalton Athletic, before hosting fifth place (and currently two points better off) Hastings United on Easter Monday. Casuals entertain Chipstead on Saturday, and require only one more point to secure their own play-off spot.
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Published on in Steps 3-6.